Every gardener knows the weeds. When different types of weeds find their way into the flower bed, lawn or vegetable plants, they are difficult to get rid of. Below you will learn about 20 different types of weed. Because there are two basic types and countless varieties.

The root weeds

The division into two different types is based on the propagation. The root weeds spread underground via roots or long stolons.

Ackerwinde (Convolvulus arvensis)

  • widespread in Europe
  • perennial herbaceous plant
  • often confused with the real bindweed (Calystegia sepium)
  • Flowering period from June to September
  • prefers nutrient-rich soils

Ampfer (Rumex)

  • approx. 130 different types
  • based in the northern hemisphere
  • individual weed species are difficult to distinguish
  • perennial herbaceous plants
  • high content of vitamins A and C, popular in the kitchen
  • Fighting is often done with a sorrel fork

Nettles (Urtica)

  • 30-70 different species around the world
  • in Germany, the large and small stinging nettles are the most common
  • one specimen can spread over several square meters
  • Burning hairs cause pain when weeding
  • serves as a suitable fertilizer and natural healing agent
  • annual or perennial plants
  • up to 3 meters high
  • prefer nitrogen-rich soils, indicator plants for soil conditions

Couch grass (Elymus repens)

  • other names are creeping couch grass, couch grass or common couch grass
  • spread worldwide
  • a pioneer plant on various soil conditions
  • perennial and herbaceous plant
  • forms a comprehensive system of underground roots and runners
  • Foothills often penetrate wood and asphalt
  • Runners root up to 80 cm deep
  • is one of the most stubborn weed species
  • Forage plant for mammals, seed popular food for birds

ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria)

  • one of the most stubborn weeds in the garden
  • meter-long foothills that wind through the beds
  • Spread over large areas within a few years
  • grows up to a meter tall
  • white or cream flowers
  • Flowering period from June to August
  • spread throughout Europe
  • prefers nitrogen-rich soils
  • is a traditional medicinal plant that is used against gout, rheumatism and arthritis

Gunsel (Ajuga)

  • about 65 different types
  • distributed in Eurasia and northern Africa
  • occur as annuals, biennials or perennials
  • in rare cases the bugle grows as a shrub
  • some varieties of Günsel are used as ornamental plants

Hahnenfuß (Ranunculus)

  • Roots grow up to 50 centimeters deep
  • between 10 and 50 cm tall
  • grow as annuals or perennials
  • yellow flowers
  • Leaves visually resemble a bird’s foot
  • evergreen plant
  • is one of the slightly poisonous weed species, animals avoid the plants because of the acrid taste
  • Difficult to combat as roots are anchored deep in the soil after a few weeks

Löwenzahn (Taraxacum sect. Ruderalia)

  • Taproots up to two meters long
  • Dandelions can withstand hot and cold temperatures
  • no high demands on the soil conditions
  • up to 30 cm tall
  • flowering twice a year: April to May and August to September
  • typical yellow flowers and white milky sap
  • occurs throughout the northern hemisphere
  • popular food as a salad, spread or syrup
  • thanks to bitter substances a popular medicinal plant

Schachtelhalm (Equisetum arvense)

  • other names are field horsetail or horsetail
  • is among the most stubborn weed cards
  • Foothills are up to 2 meters long and heavily branched
  • upright rungs with distinct knots
  • can grow up to 70 cm high
  • prefers a moist soil

Weißklee (Trifolium repens)

  • known as creeping clover
  • perennial plant that can reach a height of 20 centimeters
  • strong taproot without runners
  • Flowering period from May to October
  • distributed in Europe, North Africa and Asia
  • one of the most widespread weed species in Germany
  • agricultural use as fodder crop
  • some varieties are used as ornamental plants
  • When injured, leaves release toxic hydrocyanic acid

Zaunwinde (Calystegia)

  • about 30 different species, 15 of them are only found in California
  • erect or prostrate plants
  • can be several meters long
  • form hairless capsule fruits

The common herbs

Seed weeds are propagated by seeds. These produce thousands of seeds, which are then dispersed by animals and wind.

Ackerfuchsschwanz (Alopecurus myosuroides)

  • resistant to various herbicides
  • is considered a super weed
  • multi-resistant grass with countless seeds
  • only manual control is considered promising
  • Growth height 15 – 80 cm
  • Flowering period from May to September
  • green to light brown flowers
  • is considered an indicator plant for nitrogen-poor soils

Bärenklau (Heracleum sphondylium)

  • also known as Wiesen-Bärenklau
  • Plants flower from spring to autumn
  • widespread spread
  • Seeds stay in the ground for years and can germinate at any time
  • the giant hogweed is a known poisonous plant, but the common meadow hogweed is not
  • white or cream flowers

Yellow-throated Dipper (Galinsoga parviflora)

  • known as buttonhead
  • grows up to 20 cm high
  • Flowering period from June to October
  • yellow and white flowers
  • edible weed
  • is one of the weed species that spread quickly and en masse
  • form innumerable seeds and roots up to a meter deep
  • annual weed plant

Gänsedistel (Sonchus)

  • other names are milk thistles
  • Saudisteln
  • Annual, biennial or perennial herbaceous plants
  • single stem
  • Sowthistles occur with their various species worldwide
  • in Europe, the sow-thistle (Sonchus arvensis L.) and the sow-thistle (Sonchus oleraceus L.) are widespread

Goosefoot (Chenopodium album)

  • the pioneer plant grows in almost any soil
  • flowers from a size of 10 cm
  • grows up to 80 cm tall
  • Flowering period from June to September
  • green flowers
  • Popular as a vegetable and medicinal plant thanks to its anti-inflammatory effect
  • strong competition, prevails over many other varieties and weed species

Hirse (Panicum miliaceum)

  • Spreading grain from 10-12 different genera
  • real millet is widespread
  • occurs in large quantities
  • up to 1000 seeds per plant
  • Seeds remain viable in soil for the next five years
  • used economically

Hirtentäschel (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

  • Flowering almost all year round
  • greenish flowers
  • Plants have up to 60,000 seeds
  • Roots grow up to a meter deep into the soil
  • grows up to 50 cm
  • Due to the countless seeds, gardeners find it difficult to control

Sauerklee (Oxalis)

  • spread worldwide
  • over 700 different species
  • mostly perennial plants
  • upright or creeping
  • in rare cases, wood sorrel grows as a small shrub
  • Flowers are white, red, pink or yellow

Vogelmiere (Stellaria media)

  • grows up to 20 cm high
  • Tendrils are half a meter long
  • Birds love the seeds of the plant
  • Leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals
  • Flowering time from March to December
  • Seeds germinate at five degrees Celsius

frequently asked Questions

With root weeds, you need to completely remove the roots of the plant. After all, the smallest root parts are enough for the plants to continue to multiply. Digging up makes the infestation worse because you spread the roots further into the soil. For seed weeds, you need to prevent seed formation.

There is no fixed definition of weed. In nature, every plant has an important place in the ecosystem. As a gardener, you define the weeds yourself. As soon as plants grow in an unwanted place – such as a flower bed or lawn – they are considered weeds.

Some weeds can be used in the home kitchen. Girdweed, stinging nettles, dandelion and Co. then turn from weeds into kitchen herbs.

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